About Us

Our Mission

To offer river experiences that provide an opportunity to appreciate nature...and to do so in a way that values everyone.

We believe in conservation through recreation. That memories of time in nature fuel the duty to protect our waters and wildlife. To forge connections with nature through experience and education, so that these experiences may be had for generations to come.

Our Values

The Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co. offers far more than boats, courses and trips, because its guides understand the river and its natural significance.

Joe Jacob, who created the company, is a marine biologist and conservationist who worked two decades for The Nature Conservancy and has spent years paddling the Haw. His goal is to help everyone appreciate this precious natural resource and help preserve it for future generations.

All courses and trips offered by The Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co. are intended to raise public awareness to the need to protect our environment. Please don’t disturb wildlife or litter, and consider participating in our “Dollar-a-Day for Conservation” program, where we provide an opportunity for participants to contribute directly to conserving the Haw River and its adjacent land.

Most of all, everyone at The Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co. believes special places like the Haw River allow people to escape the frenetic pace of life and reinvigorate their lives, their souls. It’s a belief rooted in the motto: “Reconnect with Nature. Have fun paddling.”

Our Team

Joe Jacob

President, Instructor & Guide

An aquatic biologist and environmentalist, Joe Jacob spent two decades working with The Nature Conservancy — serving as Director of Science for the Southeastern United States and working two years with the Conservancy’s Alaska office — before launching his first paddlesports business.

Joe has a strong background in marine ecology. He has worked as a researcher in a marine lab, and taught at both the high school and university levels. He also is trained in first aid and is a certified canoe and kayak instructor.

For 14 years, Joe owned and directed another paddlesports business, eventually selling that operation to spend more time helping others discover their connection to Nature by getting them out on the Haw River.

Jacob Matheny

Instructor, Guide & Operations Manager

Passionate about our rivers, Jacob Matheny began guiding on the Haw River in 2008. He soon found out there was more to paddling than just putting blade to water. The Greenville, S.C. native enjoys sharing what he, himself, has found worth experiencing, spending time on the river, and introducing the sport to as many people as he can. In the past Jacob has guided, run our summer camp program & our instructional classes, and now handles logistics for the company during the summer season. During the winter months Jacob enjoys running the dam releases in the southeast, with some of his closest friends; from moving flat-water sessions, where the water resembles glass, to some of Appalachia’s most Classic whitewater runs.